Thursday, 2 May 2013

Is the Wii U Worth It?

We're a techie family with kids and a love of gadgets and games consoles, especially anything new and exciting. So why haven't we upgraded to a Nintendo Wii U games console? And should we?

We have a Wii. We excitedly pre-ordered it when it first became available. It has seen great-grandparents and toddlers playing together in fits of giggles. It has helped my kids learn to play their first video games. I love the balance board for fitness games.

The Wii has provided a kid-friendly entry to several franchises beloved by us and our children but where the movies and/or books were too grown up for our kids. They have watched their Dad play LEGO Games: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and next on our list: Harry Potter.

We've also used it to video chat to family members who also have a Wii. That was handy before Skype was so widespread. And we use it to watch NetFlix on the TV.

And now the Wii is our route to the sacred mission of saving Skylands. As in the houses of young boys across the globe the Skylanders portal sits like a shrine in our living room.

Basically we're still more than happy with our existing Wii. We haven't felt the need to upgrade.

And we're not the only ones. Nintendo's sales of the Wii U have not been as good as they had hoped. 

Nintendo has recently issued a post to customers to try and explain why they should upgrade. They think that customers may be confused about what the Wii U is and that's why they haven't upgraded.

Well we're fully aware that the Wii U is a new console with new capabilities including the touchscreen controller, and that yes we can use our Wii games with it.

But maybe it's worth another look at the features of the Wii U to see if we're missing out.

First let's take a look at the GamePad controller and it's one of the key new features of the Wii U that isn't available for the original Wii console.
The Wii U has a touchscreen GamePad controller that can show the same or different content to what appears on the screen.

You can also play games on the GamePad without needing to use the TV. That does sound like a useful feature for some, but gaming is still a family activity in our house. We don't banish the kids so we can watch something on TV. And the kids have tablets when they want to play games in other locations.

One feature I had forgotten about is that the GamePad has a power button on it for the Wii and can be used as a TV remote. Now that does sound useful - it's a pain to have to use several remotes to get everything working.

Then there's the HD capability so you can play games in gorgeous HD. That's nice are we are coming to expect high-quality video, but I don't really feel my kids are missing out on this feature.

The Wii U have TV and social features, but I don't see anything new that we really need and don't have covered by other devices.

So then there are the games themselves. LEGO City Undercover is only available for the Wii U not the Wii. I can image that being a pretty good reason for a lot of people to upgrade. LEGO City is the least popular LEGO theme in our house so this particular game isn't an issue.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is coming out later in the year though for Wii U and not Wii (as far as I'm aware.) Now that could be the game to do it. My boys are big super hero fans.

I think for us it's going to be either our current Wii console breaking or a must-have game or accessory coming out for the Wii that leads us to buy a Wii U console.

If we were buying a new family console now then we'd absolutely go for the Wii U. And unless something changes in the market, then I expect it will be our next family games console.

We just don't have any sense of urgency about it because the Wii U still meets all our needs. I suspect other families are in a similar position. In the current financial climate people are being careful with their money. I don't think it's that people are confused about what the Wii U is, I think they are just holding off on their purchase for as long as they can because they can wait.

More from Tech Age Kids:


Post a Comment